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Below is an excerpt from an article on the work Jeff Schwarz and Dick Wukich are conducting at the Carnegie Library in Braddock.  This facility is a partner to the facilities we are building in Laredo, TX and College Station, TX.

 

Sunday, February 08, 2009

By Diana Nelson Jones, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

20090208bdbraddock_500Jeff Schwarz presses a filter in the Braddock Pot Shop.

As a distressed community, Braddock could make a good argument for getting a government bailout. Instead, it has become a producer of stimulus packages for communities with greater problems.

Last fall, the Braddock Pot Shop — a ceramics workshop operated by the Braddock Carnegie Arts Program in the basement of the Carnegie Library — took on an additional role: North America’s first water filter factory.

At Mayor John Fetterman’s urging, AmeriCorps agreed to make a former volunteer a full-time employee in the factory to produce ceramic cones that filter bacteria from water. It is an affiliate of the international network Potters for Peace.

AmericaCorps volunteers have worked in the ceramics studio since it was established in 2003 and been active for years in youth programs in Braddock. AmericaCorps alumni include Mr. Fetterman.

Jeff Schwarz, 33, a teacher in the studio, stepped into his full-time role impassioned about clay’s potential to improve and save lives — in the Third World or in developed countries during emergency situations in which drinking water supplies have been contaminated.

A graduate of Slippery Rock University, he caught the water filter bug from Richard Wukich, his mentor and teacher. Mr. Wukich is a member of Potters for Peace and has brought the group’s founder and other leaders to campus.

 

To read the rest of the story, go to http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09039/947753-82.stm

 

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Manny Hernandez suggested we post this article from the Christian Science Monitor.

owater_p12Not enough: Girls in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, waited on March 6 for free fresh water provided by a charity group. The city doesn’t have enough water to meet demand.

With fresh water resources becoming scarcer worldwide due to population growth and climate change, a growing movement is working to make access to clean water a basic universal human right.

But it’s a contentious issue, experts say. Especially difficult is how to safely mesh public-sector interests with public ownership of resources – and determine the legal and economic ramifications of enshrining the right to water by law.

“It’s an issue that is snowballing,” says Tobias Schmitz, a water-resources expert with Both Ends, a Dutch environmental and development organization. Some 30 countries have a constitutional or legal provision ensuring individuals’ access to water, up from a handful a few years ago, he says.

“Everybody is grappling with the issue, knowing that we need to secure this right. But the question now is over the practical application of this right,” Dr. Schmitz says.

Government officials and leaders of numerous nongovernmental organizations and companies working on the water issue are meeting this week in Istanbul as part of the World Water Forum, which takes place every three years in a bid to shape global water policy.

To read the rest of the article, go to http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0319/p06s01-woeu.html